Search Results for inner dialogue

Doing gentle – 5 – Pick up on inner judgement

Doing gentle – 5 – Pick up on inner judgement

February 14, 2016
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Once you’ve gotten aware that it’s an option to be gentle towards yourself, and after you’ve discovered the general tone of your inner dialogue – start to aim the awareness towards yourself. Pick up on when you belittle yourself. When you blame yourself for things that are not your fault. When you judge yourself for this, that or the other thing. When the harsh whipping voice of the inner dictator spins around within your mind, over and over again, hurting you with each turn, each twist, each whiplash.doing gentle 5

Become aware.

Spot it.

Spot yourself judging yourself.
Belittling yourself.
Ridiculing yourself.
Calling yourself names.

And then.
Practice self-compassion.

Acknowledge that you spotted a piece of judgment, belittlement, name-calling. Just see it. And give thanks for that. For seeing it. For actually picking up on it. If you really want to make yourself prone to spotting the self-deprecating comments you give yourself, give yourself a hug. Actually, physically, put your arms around you, and hug yourself.

It’s a really good thing to be able to witness ones’ self and not punish yourself for what you witnessed. If you punish yourself, your willingness to bear witness on yourself diminishes. Makes perfect sense. Why should you become aware and learn to see yourself, if it only leads to even more punishment?

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the fifth of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.
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Doing gentle – 3 – Notice my inner chatter

January 31, 2016
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doing gentle 3 bwHave you picked up on the tone of your inner dialogue? I have. I used to have a dictator within, I remember it as having been a mix of Hitler, Mao, Stalin… And it was awful. Horrendous. Harsh. Evil. Mistrusting. Sadistic. Unrelenting and cruel.

But yeah. I wrote used to, because this is no longer the tone of my inner dialogue. I no longer experience this inner dictatorship. A faint echo of it might show up from time to time, but in no way close to what it used to be like, being me.

Today, my inner voice is gentle. Encouraging. Loving. Kind and appreciative. Playful even, and really curious. With a strong urge to experiment and discover, to expand, learn, evolve. So even if the echo of my inner dictator sometimes comes a-knocking, I greet it with a gentle curiosity, wondering what brought it here this time around. What the message might be, if there’s something to learn?

I often ask coaching clients what the tone of their inner dialoge is, and all but one have replied that it’s generally holds a harsh tone. All but one, out of a hundred, at least. Strange isn’t it. We seem to live in a culture that tunes our inner tone into a harsh one. Why is that? And why not re-tune it?

What’s the tone of your inner dialogue?

(And note! If the answer is harsh. You don’t have to be harsh on yourself because of it. Just notice. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just become aware. Step one, remember!)

Welcome to my new website, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I will be sharing thoughts on how I do gentle, and this is the third of those. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

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Automate it!

February 6, 2019
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in Tip
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Automate it, I said, and she frowned. That sounds like robots and stuff, she responded and had me off on a rant about the marvel of automating things, and how it can be robots and stuff, certainly, but also what I make automatic in my life. Like the question Does this serve me? which I’ve asked myself thousands of times since… 2012?

In fact, I’ve asked myself this question so many times, that I no longer have to ask it to answer it. It’s now something I do automatically, whenever (or at least most of the times) I experience a really strong sensation, be it anger, irritation, frustration, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry. Or for that matter extreme elation, joy, curiosity, bubbling eagerness. The script of does this serve me runs automatically, and my response has me make a more conscious decision. It gives me just enough of a pause, or a distance if you will, to be able to observe what I am experiencing and respond to the question.

If the answer is yes I keep on going. If the answer is no sometimes I keep going anyway, taking full responsibility for it, and sometimes (most of the times, I would like to think) I stop, since the pause I’ve given myself gives me a way out somehow.

Insights are amazing. They are one of, if not the best superpowers of human beings. One of the most impactful insights I’ve gotten was that I don’t have to be so hard on myself. Sounds silly almost, but I was actually about… let’s see… 35 years old when I fully got this. So for 35 years, I lived with an extremely harsh inner dialogue. But – and this is important – just because I got the insight, didn’t mean that I automatically stopped being hard on myself. You see, for 35 years, I’d very efficiently built a whole system of neural pathways on how to be hard on myself. And just because I got that insight, those pathways didn’t disintegrate. They didn’t, because neural pathways don’t. (Unless you have a neural degenerative disease of some sort. Luckily, most of us don’t.) So what I had to do, once I got that insight, was learn new ways of interacting with myself.

I was helped along by my willingness to change my inner dialogue (which definitely also affected the way I interacted with everyone else. As above, so below and all that stuff!) and my observatory powers. I started to observe myself being hard on me. At first… it could take me hours (if not days) to spot it, after the fact, that is. After a stint of that, my revelatory observations crept closer and closer to the actual situation, and before I knew it, I was picking up on my soon-to-be-harsh inner dialogue. Before it happened. When that happened, I had a choice. Harsh. Or gentle. And I could pick which route to go down. And once I started picking gentle I started to build new neural pathways, training myself into new patterns of being with me.

Now 10-11 years after that first initial insight of not having to treat myself so harshly, I’ve gotten sooo good at being gentle with me. Not soft. Not weak. Not letting myself off the hook, and never challenging me. No, not even close to that! I challenge myself so much more now that I no longer fear my internal judge! So in a sense, I’ve not just automated does this serve me, but also being gentle with myself.

Both of these are ”automated scripts” that I find truly serve me as well as those around me.

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Advent Calendar 12 – To try new things with a curious mind

December 12, 2018
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To try new things, with a curious mind – what a gift that is. To me. For everything I try, I can stop to think I might like it, or not. Because I know, since I have tried it. I’ve just given myself one of these gifts, having just attended my first ever silent after work – two hours of complete silence, sitting, standing, lying down, in a room with others, and the possibility to have a cup of tea or a sip of water. Two hours went by much faster than expected. And it felt really good. Perhaps because I’ve befriended Silence? My old self, the one with the extremely harsh inner dialogue, wasn’t all that thrilled about silence, as it made the harshness so much more apparent and obvious. But nowadays, with my gentle and curious inner dialogue, I have gotten to love silence. And new stuff as well.

Because the two go together.

I mean – silence and trying new stuff go together with respect to my changed inner dialogue. As you might imagine, having a harsh inner dialogue isn’t the best encourager of trying new things… dreading the response from within if I would fail (How stupid you are Helena! Did you really think you could do that?), or not like it (Come off it Helena, stop wasting your time on stupid things like this!) or any other discouraging response you could think of.

There’s also something special about firsts. So my first silent after work deserves a bit of special attention simply because it is a first. When my eldest child was born, and I was a single mom, I missed having someone to share all of my child’s firsts with. So I created an email list of everyone that I cared of – and I shared with them all, whenever there was something special. And often, when there wasn’t anything special as well – simply for the joy of sharing our day with others.

Since then, I’ve been extra attentive to firsts of all kinds. The first snow of the year. The first spring flower of the year. The first time visiting a new country, eating a new dish, trying something new and so on. There are so many firsts available for us, and I enjoy celebrating them, in one form or another. Just for the fun of it.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 12 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 2 – Help en route to become gentle with myself

December 2, 2018
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Pondering what has helped me learn how to be gentle with myself, I realize me, myself and I have been my foremost help and aide on this journey. I have let myself open up for insight, for new thoughts. For asking questions, and listening for the reply. I excel at intake, reading, listening, talking, taking in new stuff, getting hints and ideas worth trying, to see what I might gain from them.

Leonard Cohen famously wrote that there’s a crack in everything, and that’s where the light comes in. Then I recently read somewhere, that the crack is also where the light shines through from within. And that’s what I’ve let myself do (and become), a person where light can both enter, but also exit. I take in light – and I transmit light.

My loved ones have also been an integral part in me learning to be gentle towards myself. My ex-husband played a big part, and my children. They are the reason why I started therapy some 12-13 years ago or so. I didn’t want to be such an angry mom for them, and took help, because I was at a loss on how to transform myself.

I’ve attended a myriad of different courses, specifically coaching courses and summits of various kinds, but neither of these courses I’ve picked with the specific purpose of becoming gentle to me. And yet… they have all helped me reach the place where I can say, with complete honesty, that I am. Not 100% of the time and in all situations. Of course not. But that’s not a goal I strive for, becoming “perfect” in this sense.

My Mastermind-group and my #skolvåren back office-gang. Funnily enough these two major parts of my personal development (in many ways) both have their moment of birth in the first months of 2013.  The amount of stuff we’ve worked through together, sharing beliefs, knowledge, questions, fear, longings and bas the basis has been a general sense of curiosity, we’ve helped each other grow and expand. Enriching ourselves through continuous discussions  where the underlying love and respect we all have for each other sets the tone.

And then… all the conversations I’ve had. These have been a huge factor as well. Conversations with myself, as well as others. I have a few very intimate friends whom I’ve shared so much with – and thanks to their knowledge and wisdom, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of myself. And that in turn has also helped me become gentle towards myself.

And the benefits are massive. For myself, of course. Being harsh or gentle in my inner dialogue definitely makes a huge difference. For me. But it also impacts those I meet. If I am harsh with myself – it’s much more likely I will be harsh with you as well. Even thought that isn’t what I aim for. And logically, the opposite is true as well. The more gentle I am with me, the easier it is for me to be gentle with those in my vicinity.

Thanks to me opening up to both myself as those around me, letting these different avenues all help me learn to be more gentle with myself, my experience of life today is one which has me smile softly just writing these words. And I love how my body and my emotions so visibly guides me by showing me what serves me, and what doesn’t.


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 2 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Advent Calendar 1 – Being gentle

December 1, 2018
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I decided to join the #BusinessBoomutmaning (i.e. challenge) in December as well, doing 21 FB Live’s, just like I did in November. This time around, I will be doing my live’s in Swedish, and as an Advent Calendar on the theme of being gentle. But I also wanted to share my current thoughts on this subject here, as this entire site is centered around Being and Doing Gentle. So I will do a written advent calendar here on the blog, in writing sharing what I share in words on Facebook (in Swedish). The background for why I landed in Being Gentle is simply thus: I have spent 75% of my life in the opposite corner, being extremely harsh with myself.

My inner dialogue was hard up until around ten years ago when the following occurred: 
I was headed to my therapist, and as I hadn’t taken the time to withdraw cash from the ATM the day before, I went to the small kiosk along the way, with the intent of buying something small and withdrawing cash at the same time. However, as I came there, the phone lines were down, so they could not accept my credit card. Hence… I came to my therapist without cash to pay her. And I felt awful. Horrendous. Disrespectful towards her, with the knowledge that I was a dreadful and despicable person for not living up to my end of the bargain.

I told her as much… and she looked at me (with the kindest and most curious of gazes) and stated the obvious: You are very hard on yourself. 

I nodded, a bit perplexed, and asked: Don’t you have to? 

She shrugged her shoulders, and said, gently: No. If it had been me, I would simply have said that I’ll bring double the money next time. 

And, like the wrecking ball that Miley Cyrus sings about, my beliefs shattered. The beliefs that I had to be hard on myself… or perhaps rather, the belief that that was the only way to be me in the world. All of a sudden, I got a glimpse that perhaps there was another way of talking to myself, one that did not make me feel so bad, much (most…) of the time.

From then on, I have worked at transforming the ingrained habits of 30+ years of living life being hard on myself, into living a life of being gentle towards myself. Have found ways of being and doing gentle towards myself, and today, wholeheartedly, I can say: I like being me. I enjoy the way I am with myself, and how I show up as me. And I love myself. But that was not the basis for this transformation, that has been a bonus effect!


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 1 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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Magic trick?

May 12, 2018
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As I reflect on recent weeks, it hit’s me, hard: I’ve gotten really good at being gentle towards myself. This ”quest” of mine, that I’ve worked at for so long. It all started right before my first child was born, when me and my then husband split up. I wasn’t aware that what I was aiming for was the concept of being gentle towards myself, but in hindsight, it was. The time I didn’t have cash in hand to pay for a therapy session some six or seven years later was my first conscious experience that I actually did have a choice. That I could be gentler with myself, than was my habit (since forever…).

Now. In situations I’d previously label ”difficult”, it’s as if I see what’s the core issue, and I go straight for it, rather than get lost in the potential drama and upset;which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t ”wrong”. It simply doesn’t do anything for me anymore. It does not serve me, or the situation at hand. At all.

And no. Of course this isn’t my demeanor 100% of the time when it would be prudent. But more and more. And each time, I learn, and so, chances are I will respond wiser, more discerning (new favorite word!), based on what serves – not just me, but all involved! – the situation best.

The magic trick!Another typical situation, which also has me coming to this conclusion, is when I’m in conversation with friends and loved ones, them sharing their inner turmoil with me; how their inner dialogue is both harsh and judgmental, making me see, again and again, that my inner dictators truly have left the building. And what a difference it makes. As I told myself the other day in a morning walking meditation ending up with five minutes of personal pep talk, ”It’s wonderful to be Helena today, so much nicer than just a few years ago!”. It really is, making it much easier for me to continue with a gentle and loving acceptance of myself (and as a fantastic bonus: of everyone around me as well!).

So. Is it the combo, then? The ”doing gentle” hooking up with discernment (best question ever: How is this serving me/the situation? Is it?) – is that the magic trick?

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#blogg100 – Gone for good.

May 29, 2017
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”…and then something inexplicable happened. Something great and timeless and beautiful and confounding just disappeared. Something was gone… gone for good.”

Death can cause great, timeless, beautiful and confounding things disappear. These words are written to describe what happened in the room when Clarence Clemons died. But great, timeless, beautiful and confounding things must not be fellow humans. It can be other things, any thing, of great and timeless beauty; a thing that, one day, is simply gone.

The MeYouWe of a relationship that suddenly shifts, inexplicably, whenever Me or You shift to our core. Making the MeYouWe transform and turn into something else, a totally new entity. An unknown, making it’s first rounds of the world, not certain of its place in time and space. Wanted? Not wanted?

The desperation when Me or You try to hold on, try to make the ghost of MeYouWe rise again, take form, reappear as it were… even though that is not possible. Not once a Me or a You have made a profound transformation.

It. Is. Not. Possible.
MeYouWe as it was, is no more.
A new MeYouWe might emerge. Or not. Because BoldomaticPost_People-come-into-our-lives-fopeople come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime, as someone wise once told me – I’ve forgotten when and from whom I learned of it. The words have stayed with me, and have granted me release when looking back at long lost relationships, where for one reason or another, the MeYouWe that existed – suddenly, inexplicably – disappeared, however great, timeless, beautiful and confounding it may have been. Gone. Be it for a reason or a season, off it went.

Silently, within the confines of my inner dialogue, softly, I whisper to myself: people come into my life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And I cannot know which, until it becomes apparent. Friends for life; suddenly no longer a part of my day-to-day existence, however unimaginable that notion might have seemed. With gratitude, warmth, and love for what was, I can let go, in order to let come… a new friend? A new love? Never knowing, and not needing to know, if this will be the commencement of a relationship of a reason – a season – or lifetime.

It will be. Either one. And that’s as it should be.
And then something inexplicable might happen…

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 90 of 100.
The book “Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.
English posts here, Swedish at herothecoach.com.

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#blogg100 – Observe yourself.

April 12, 2017
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“Do not observe yourself too closely.
Do not draw too rapid conclusions from what happens to you;
let it simply happen to you.”

Yes.

But also – No! A strong and resounding No rising from within the depths of me, reverberating in my entire being.

Perhaps my fervent opposition to Rainer Maria Rilkes two sentences is his use of the words observation and drawing conclusions, without using also the word judgement. Because there is nothing that has helped me as much to Live life as it happens to me, as the ability to observe myself. But here’s the clou: To observe myself, without judgement. Rilkes “rapid conclusions” in my mind is to do with making judgements.

chainsOnce I learned to observe myself (which for me means the ability to bear witness to myself, to all that I am experiencing, while simultaneously seeing what I am experiencing – I am in it, but at the same time outside of it) and fully understood that whatever I am thinking isn’t Truth, but rather a filter which shapes the experience of the world I am in, life changed. Oh how it changed! It became possible for me to let life happen, without me having to fight it each and every inch of the way. No longer shackled to the harsh voices within.

Because simultaneously, my inner Judge and Dictator lost its power over me and my life. He could be shouting at me (I often liken him to a combination of Hitler/Mao/Stalin. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but hey, that’s what it felt like to be me), the same things he’d been shouting at me for years on end, relentlessly, and all of a sudden… I was able to let it be. To avoid engaging with it. To avoid the conclusions stemming from an internal dialogue telling me You are so dumb!, You should have known better! and Why on earth would you ever do something that stupid, haven’t you learnt anything?.

Once I stopped paying attention to the harsh inner dialogue of mine, the tone of it shape shifted, into something that gradually turned into the ability to be gentle towards myself. And from that place, whatever happens to me, as I am living my life, is easier to handle with grace, come what may.

#Blogg100 challenge in 2017 – post number 43 of 100.
The book “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
English posts here, Swedish at
herothecoach.com.

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4/24 – The urge to hide

December 4, 2016
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I don’t even remember the question that led up to this:dolphin

“Oh no, not me, what should I say? What should I do? Do I look good? Is my hair ok? Who will see this, and what will they think of me?”

All those can be read into that “Eh…” in the note I took.

In other words – human beings have a tendency to worry about what others might think, rather than just be in the moment, and go with what wants to happen.

Why is that? Where does it come from? And when does it come? Because surely we are not born with a detrimental and depressingly downputting self-deprecating inner dialogue?  One that we actually don’t have to listen to even, and still, it’s as if we think it’s telling the Truth. Why is that?

Reflection #4 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. This was my Advent Calendar 2015 on herothecoach.com, and as I loved each and every post so much, I am reusing them for this years’ Advent Calendar here! These reflections will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

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